Why does the average tennis player retire so young?

Lawn Tennis

Semi-Pro
Why does the average tennis player retire so young? In our professional sport, 30 is considered old, while in most all other sports, 30 is considered prime. For instance, football (both American and European) at the age 25 you are considered an up-and-comer and retirement happens around 37 - 40 years of age.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Both of those sporting events have both smaller seasons and closer locations for the event to be played at, and both are team efforts.

Tennis is a year round, global individual sport. You're always playing or practicing or training... otherwise you slip from the top. It needs a longer offseason.. this alone would elongate many careers.
 

Heracles

Banned
In football 30 is considered as the beginning of being old.

35 is considered very old

At 25 you are not an up and comer, you are in your prime.
 
It's all about our human bodies- how long can we physically challenges ourselves. I think any age before 25 is considered prime time.
 

LetsGoRoddick

Professional
In terms of success and the right mix of athleticism and knowledge/experience, many people even view 27-33 as prime in the NBA.

I think because tennis is a single player sport, that the decline in athleticism becomes more apparent at an earlier age. Whereas in a team sport, you have your teammates to cover for you occasionally, or you simply work together so athleticism is not as much of a factor.

Also the long tennis season of grinding away primarily on a tough surface takes its toll, especially on the knees. You can see for yourself, if you train for 5 or 6 days a week.

Just my opinion.
 
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BrooklynNY

Hall of Fame
Tennis is just a game for the quick and agile at the highest levels. You simply just cannot compete at the highest levels of the game if your opponent is simply winning points due to an advantage in these traits, which naturally degenerate with age.

Rafa Nadal is smart to have an interest in golf and actually be such a good player at a young age. When he retires at 29 from tennis, he will just be entering his prime in golf, and we all know your prime in golf pretty much expires when your heart stops beating. Perhaps he is planning on breaking the all time major record in tennis, and then skipping across the country club and break Nicklaus' record.
 

dcdoorknob

Hall of Fame
Tennis just requires a higher level of stamina + athleticism than most other sports. When these things start to decline, even if just a bit (which begins to happen around 30 for most people), it become harder to keep up.

(American) football plays for a few seconds at a time and then takes a break, and if someone ever gets too winded, they can be replaced for a play or 2 by someone on the bench. Obviously sports like baseball and golf don't require the same level of endurance+athleticism. Basketball and soccer probably come close, but again with team sports there is still the option to play fewer minutes per game and have teammates come in off the bench. There are no substitutions in tennis. If you can't keep up physically throughout the entire match, you're in trouble.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
For various reasons.
A lot of top tennis players (especially top 20?) begin to play professionally 16,17, or 18. This means travelling at least nationally and internationally. And, they have already played in international junior events since they were like 12 or 14. The travelling takes toll on the body and the mind.

In Team sports, the coach has some control over your playing time whereas in tennis, it's has to be you on the court week in and week out with no resting at the bench. It's much harder to adapt to aging in tennis because you can't really take on a different or less important role in the team, or even play less time. And, if you play less in tennis, your ranking goes down, which means tougher opponent in tournaments.

It's also more difficult to recover from injury. If you are injured in tennis, you are out and not playing. Your ranking goes down and it's difficult to make a come back. In team sports, you are still on the team even if you are injured. And, you have limited yet luxury of slowly come backing.
 

Murrayfan31

Hall of Fame
You got players around you supporting you and you are forced to get in shape in team sports through training camp and stuff like that. You are alone in tennis. Some players pay big bucks though to have a team support around them though. Coach and trainer.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
Thanks for all the comments. I read that the average male does not reach his peak strength until the age 34. This is part of the reason I questioned tennis players' early retirement.

For the couple comments that disagreed with the average age of retirement of football players to be 37 - 40, read this: http://www.askmen.com/sports/fanatic_300/325_the-best-age-for-athletes.html
Hmm, interesting...Where did you read that? Physical decline, I believe, begins around 20~22 in terms of ability to recover and adapt. It doesn't mean you can't be in the best shape at the age of 34 though.

You will notice a lot of tennis players that came late onto the tour, or peaked at their later age, will actually peak between 28~32.
 

mctennis

Legend
I think mostly it is the fact they play on hard courts for hours and hours and hours on end. It is very hard on the body and seems the kids start way too soon playing. Injuries abound and with the crazy grip they use now a lot of wrist injuries that are either slow to hear or never heal. That and shoulder injuries. Once they have shoulder surgery the vast majority of them can't play at the same level again. Now we are seeing a lot of hip injuries. Same thing as shoulder injuries, had to come back full blast after hip surgery.
 

Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
Tennis just requires a higher level of stamina + athleticism than most other sports. When these things start to decline, even if just a bit (which begins to happen around 30 for most people), it become harder to keep up.

(American) football plays for a few seconds at a time and then takes a break, and if someone ever gets too winded, they can be replaced for a play or 2 by someone on the bench. Obviously sports like baseball and golf don't require the same level of endurance+athleticism. Basketball and soccer probably come close, but again with team sports there is still the option to play fewer minutes per game and have teammates come in off the bench. There are no substitutions in tennis. If you can't keep up physically throughout the entire match, you're in trouble.
Reading your post it is clear you have never played the sports you are comparing to tennis.

It is laughable that you think tennis requires more stamina and athletic ability than most other sports,you and act as if there are no breaks in tennis, for Christ sakes there is a 25 second break after every single point in tennis, half the damn match is toweling off and standing there wasting time.
 

Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
The early decline has to do with the mental grind not so much physical.

It is traveling 10 months out of the year and keeping the desire to train hard to stay at the top of the sport.

No one keeps the same level of intensity in their training after 7-8 years of this virtually non stop grind.
 

JustBob

Hall of Fame
It's very much physical.

Player development programs 20-25 years ago: 75/25 (technique/physical training)

Player development programs today: 50/50

Tennis is a much more physical sport and requires much more athleticism today than it did 20-25 years ago where one could have a decent career in pro tennis simply by being technically sound. Heck, tennis has gotten more physical in the past 4-5 years alone. Pro tennis players today are generally much better athletes than they were back then.

Forget about the likes of Connors playing and being competitive in their late thirties, early forties, this simply could not happen today.
 
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Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
It's very much physical.

Player development programs 20-25 years ago: 75/25 (technique/physical training)

Player development programs today: 50/50

Tennis is a much more physical sport and requires much more athleticism today than it did 20-25 years ago where one could have a decent career in pro tennis simply by being technically sound. Heck, tennis has gotten more physical in the past 4-5 years alone. Pro tennis players today are generally much better athletes than they were back then.

Forget about the likes of Connors playing and being competitive in their late thirties, early forties, this simply could not happen today.
Nonsense, the physical training in tennis is a joke compared to most other sports.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Nonsense, the physical training in tennis is a joke compared to most other sports.


He's right in that the biggest drop is in eye hand coordination which is physical. This is hardly noticed in a sport like baseball because batting .300 is good, but in a sport like tennis where you have to CONSTANTLY hit the ball, it makes a HUGE difference.


The biggest drop for any tennis player is eye hand coordination and reactions; there's a reason why Federer shanks more, and that's because he has lost just a slight step, and because his eye hand coordination is nothing like it used to be.
 

dcdoorknob

Hall of Fame
Reading your post it is clear you have never played the sports you are comparing to tennis.

It is laughable that you think tennis requires more stamina and athletic ability than most other sports,you and act as if there are no breaks in tennis, for Christ sakes there is a 25 second break after every single point in tennis, half the damn match is toweling off and standing there wasting time.
I have played all the sports I mentioned, although not all of them on a high level, although I doubt you have either. I stand by what I said.

I have no interest in engaging in a fruitless argument with another internet know-it-all with a huge ego though, so go ahead and just keep believing your own silly drivel if you want.

The proof really is in the pudding though. If most tennis pros could keep competing into their late 30s with little to no drop-off, they would (like they do in many other sports). They simply find it hard to keep up physically for that long though, and its because tennis is a very, very physical sport. You can laugh at me more if you think it will strengthen your counter-argument though.
 
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Pwned

Hall of Fame
The early decline has to do with the mental grind not so much physical.

It is traveling 10 months out of the year and keeping the desire to train hard to stay at the top of the sport.

No one keeps the same level of intensity in their training after 7-8 years of this virtually non stop grind.
I would agree with that. Motivation levels at 32 have to be way lower for most players compared to 22. That is why I think Federer can stay near the top longer than most think.
 

JustBob

Hall of Fame
It's not just hand eye coordination, it's power, athleticism, retrieving ability neutralizing shotmaking ability. I used to coach and I still see juniors train almost everyday. People who believe physical training in tennis is a joke woudn't last 30 min. doing "retrieving drills".
 

Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
He's right in that the biggest drop is in eye hand coordination which is physical. This is hardly noticed in a sport like baseball because batting .300 is good, but in a sport like tennis where you have to CONSTANTLY hit the ball, it makes a HUGE difference.
Laughable, I played 13 years of baseball, hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult feats in all of sports, you claim it isn't because you only need .300 to be considered great, this is asinine reasoning.

The biggest drop for any tennis player is eye hand coordination and reactions; there's a reason why Federer shanks more, and that's because he has lost just a slight step, and because his eye hand coordination is nothing like it used to be.
More BS, 50 year old McEnroe can go out on the court and compete competitively for a set against current pros.

You think any 50 year old former baseball pros are going to go out and hit a 95mph fastball in baseball.

Plenty of great hitters in baseball just reaching their peak at Federer's age, and hitting a baseball requires better hand eye coordination than any fn' shot in tennis. You don't see players dropping batting avg. suddenly once they hit 25 + years old.
 

Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
It's not just hand eye coordination, it's power, athleticism, retrieving ability neutralizing shotmaking ability. I used to coach and I still see juniors train almost everyday. People who believe physical training in tennis is a joke woudn't last 30 min. doing "retrieving drills".
Ever play any other sports beside tennis? I doubt it. Wrestling, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis training is a joke in comparison physically, not even close.

There are pro tennis players who don't do any physical training other than hitting on court.
 

Miso

Rookie
Because they turn pro at like 15 years old and even then, the ones that don't they play like 150+ tournaments by the age of 17-18. We all know how strenuous tennis is, so there is no wonder why alot of them retire young. All the wear and tear on the body, specially if you play mostly hard courts.

An example to this is gymnastics. They retire at like age 21 now-a-days and it's because they play at an elite level at such a young age. 15yrs of age and at the olympic stage already. Guys typically last longer but thats due to not many 15yr olds even being considered for a national team.

Every other sport, they play competitively but not at the elite level until 18 depending on what college they attend. (Top D-1 schools) Even soccer, club soccer(U-21) is basically elite college level but sponsored by pro teams.
 

magnut

Hall of Fame
I think its more mental burnout from tour life than anything else.

Personally I think a lot of these guys should just retire from singles and then move onto doubles. Sampras probably would still be great at doubles. McEnroe could probably still play and I know Edberg could.

Alas...they just get tired of life on the tour. Its a bit of a grind I suppose when you dont have to worry about money anymore and have more than you can ever spend.

It would also be nice for tennis to have a full fledged senior tour someday on a reduced schedule. Maybe have the top ranked players qualify into the majors seniors format that is actually promoted and televised.
 

JustBob

Hall of Fame
Ever play any other sports beside tennis? I doubt it. Wrestling, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis training is a joke in comparison physically, not even close.

There are pro tennis players who don't do any physical training other than hitting on court.

Yes, and JMac would be competitive in a real ATP match against current pros. Hilarious.

You keep deflecting the issue to other sports because you have no clue what the training regimen of, say, a ranked junior is like. Pepsi sucks therefore Coke is better is hardly a convincing argument...
 
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magnut

Hall of Fame
Yes, and JMac would be competitive in a real ATP match against current pros. Hilarious.

You keep deflecting the issue to other sports because you have no clue what the training regimen of, say, a ranked junior is like. Pepsi sucks therefore Coke is better is hardly a convincing argument...
Do you think JMac could still compete in doubles? I have not seen him play in the last two years but he looked pretty good a few years ago. I cant remember the year he won the title with Bjorkman.

Many of these other younger retired guys could compete in singles still but I dont think they would be able to recover very well.
 

Lawn Tennis

Semi-Pro
Hmm, interesting...Where did you read that? Physical decline, I believe, begins around 20~22 in terms of ability to recover and adapt. It doesn't mean you can't be in the best shape at the age of 34 though.

You will notice a lot of tennis players that came late onto the tour, or peaked at their later age, will actually peak between 28~32.
I read it in a fitness and strength magazine. Apparently a man's chest doesn't even reach it's largest supporting mass until the age 35. Here are some quick facts about a man's peak strength:

George Halbert did 733 bench at 215 bodyweight. All time world record, and was age 35.

Steve Goggins set the all time world record squat at just over 1100 lbs at about 255 bodyweight and was aged 39.

Scott Mendelson benched over 800, and closed in on 900 at 320 lbs bodyweight and was 35 years old.

Garry Frank, all time record holder in the total, and at one time in the deadlift, was 38 when he did his highest total ( I beleive).

With the exception of Marius Pudjenowski (sp?) the recent WSM winners have been in their mid 30's.
 

Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
Yes, and JMac would be competitive in a real ATP match against current pros. Hilarious.
More competitively than a former 50 year old pro trying to go out and compete in Pro football, baseball, soccer, or basketball. Better have the paramedics on stand by with any of these. Now, why would that be?
 
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blue steel

Rookie
in tennis you need to have explosive speed to cover the court well. you have to be at the top of your game in terms of speed and quickness otherwise you'll be out early in every tournament you play, because if you get past the first couple rounds you're going to be up against a younger, faster, fitter player and you wont be able to afford to be a step slow. tennis is all about movement, you cant afford to get to the ball slow. in basketball, football and baseball you don't have to have the same level of movement as you do in tennis to be able to compete. that's why you can find guys in their early to mid 40s who can still compete in these sports.

More BS, 50 year old McEnroe can go out on the court and compete competitively for a set against current pros.
nah, he couldn't. he might win a few points off his serve but he has no chance of holding serve more than maybe once per set if hes lucky. and he has no chance of winning more than a point while receiving.

i see your mcenroe winning a couple points on his serve, and raise you randy johnson and roger clemens starting into their mid 40s, julio franco, pete rose, shaq, dikembe mutombo, jason kidd, brett favre, grant hill and juwon howard.
 

fluffy Beaver

Professional
Ever play any other sports beside tennis? I doubt it. Wrestling, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis training is a joke in comparison physically, not even close.

There are pro tennis players who don't do any physical training other than hitting on court.
If the tennis training schedule is so easy and does not compare physically to all the other sports, why aren't there more Americans in the top 100 let alone top 50 to top 10?

I mean, America is a sports driven place and we take pride in becoming the best of the best, yet we haven't won a Slam in years. You could say Americans thrive in other sports such as Baseball, Football yada yada, but you'd think someone would step up and take Tennis under their belt to say America is the best.

As for money, Fed and Nadal are on the highest paid list so to say others want to play another sport for money doesn't make too much sense... again considering tennis is so easy which also means easy moolah.
 

Bossy

New User
More competitively than a former 50 year old pro trying to go out and compete in Pro football, baseball, soccer, or basketball. Better have the paramedics on stand by with any of these. Now, why would that be?
Maybe because you can't tackle a tennis player
 

BULLZ1LLA

Banned
(It's probably genetic. Rafa plays as full schedule as anyone yet he's getting better with age. So it's not necessarily players playing too much, it's just that the 'average' level athlete can't play tennis for too long, while the higher level athletes are relatively fine with it)
 

rosenstar

Professional
Why does the average tennis player retire so young?
$$$ MONEY $$$

Tennis requires traveling. As a player you have to cover all overhead, including coaching, travel, housing, food, etc. There's no administration to cover it for you, no guaranteed salary either since your earnings are directly dependent on your results.

In our professional sport, 30 is considered old, while in most all other sports, 30 is considered prime.
what sports do you watch? 30 is old in every sport except golf, baseball, and nascar (all of which are arguably not sports, but activities).

For instance, football (both American and European) at the age 25 you are considered an up-and-comer and retirement happens around 37 - 40 years of age.
Don't know much about soccer (that's European football right?), but you're a seasoned vet at 27 in American Football. If you're a running back who entered the league after 2 years of college, you could possibly be done by 25.
 

Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
Yes, I am wrong tennis is the most physically demanding sport in the world,
that is why you see more old people opting to play a less physical sport such as American football, full court basketball, soccer, fast pitch baseball and Rugby.

It really pisses me off going down to the local football field or basketball courts and those damn seniors have the fields or courts all taken up with their pick up games. :)
 

rosenstar

Professional
Ever play any other sports beside tennis? I doubt it. Wrestling, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis training is a joke in comparison physically, not even close.

There are pro tennis players who don't do any physical training other than hitting on court.
Tennis requires a different type of physicality. Football/wrestling require more brute strength. Less sharp turns and quick decelerations, but you have to take a hit, and impose your physical will on someone else.

As someone who's played basketball, soccer and tennis competitively, I think tennis is by far the hardest of those three, given my training in tennis was far more in depth (thus more intense) than those other sports. Never played football past a club level.

If the tennis training schedule is so easy and does not compare physically to all the other sports, why aren't there more Americans in the top 100 let alone top 50 to top 10?
Said it before: $$$$. Tennis is very expensive if you want to get good. You'll be hard pressed to find me a DI tennis player who hasn't spent at least 30k on tennis training before school.

I mean, America is a sports driven place and we take pride in becoming the best of the best, yet we haven't won a Slam in years. You could say Americans thrive in other sports such as Baseball, Football yada yada, but you'd think someone would step up and take Tennis under their belt to say America is the best.
Again, tennis is more expensive to play, not to mention at the professional level you can't make (gross) 6 figures until you're top 100. To PROFIT 6 figures (winnings + endorsements - overhead costs) you have to be top 75-50.

The 100th best player in the NFL is making millions in salary, with no overhead, and will get much more lucrative endorsements.

As for money, Fed and Nadal are on the highest paid list so to say others want to play another sport for money doesn't make too much sense... again considering tennis is so easy which also means easy moolah.
Bottom line is for 90% of people who play tennis, it's a money pit. Some people get more in scholarship money than they paid for in training/tournaments, some make more in prize money than they paid for training, but bottom line is if you're going to play tennis you better be ok with spending the money.
 
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Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
Tennis requires a different type of physicality. Football/wrestling require more brute strength. Less sharp turns and quick decelerations, but you have to take a hit, and impose your physical will on someone else.

As someone who's played basketball, soccer and tennis competitively, I think tennis is by far the hardest of those three, given my training in tennis was far more in depth (thus more intense) than those other sports. Never played football past a club level.
Hardest in what respect, if you say developing skill I would agree, if you say physical training in terms of gaining athletic ability I disagree.
 

Lsmkenpo

Hall of Fame
If the tennis training schedule is so easy and does not compare physically to all the other sports, why aren't there more Americans in the top 100 let alone top 50 to top 10?

I mean, America is a sports driven place and we take pride in becoming the best of the best, yet we haven't won a Slam in years. You could say Americans thrive in other sports such as Baseball, Football yada yada, but you'd think someone would step up and take Tennis under their belt to say America is the best.

As for money, Fed and Nadal are on the highest paid list so to say others want to play another sport for money doesn't make too much sense... again considering tennis is so easy which also means easy moolah.
Yep, top American athletes are not playing tennis because the sport is too physical for them, most pick a less athletic sport such as basketball or football. :)
 

BULLZ1LLA

Banned
(It's cool how men's tennis has a lot of room to grow and improve still since it hasn't been a very popular sport amongst African-Americans. If it ever catches on, that will be interesting)
 

JustBob

Hall of Fame
Comparisons with other sports are just silly, especially team sports. People who simply watch tennis on tv and/or just play it recreationally have no idea how physical the sport has become. About 4 years ago, Federer himself said he could no longer win simply using superior shotmaking ability, i.e. athleticism, physicality, power, neutralize (to some extent) pure technical skills. And just recently, someone who retired just 2 years ago (can't recall exactly but I believe it was Safin) said he doubted he could keep up with the physicality of the game today, granted he was never the hardest worker.

As an example, last Monday, I played on a court right next to Eugenie Bouchard (top junior) and her coach. Two hours of drill after drill after drill with only a few short pauses. It was grueling stuff. And that was just the afternoon session... Add morning session, physical training in the gym, massage, physio plus the travelling, matches, etc... and it's a hell of a grind just to try and make it as a pro because the level of competition internationally has never been this high.

As I said, 20-30 years ago you could get by in tennis by simply being technically sound and getting fit just by playing tennis (except for guys like Lendl who was a gym freak). That's no longer the case. Tennis now is more physical and demanding than it ever was. Ask Andy Murray if training with former track star Michael Johnson is a "joke"... That's just pure ignorance.
 

President

Legend
Ever play any other sports beside tennis? I doubt it. Wrestling, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis training is a joke in comparison physically, not even close.

There are pro tennis players who don't do any physical training other than hitting on court.
I agree that (American) football and basketball have definitely been taken to a higher level than tennis physically, but baseball and soccer? I'd have to disagree, most soccer players definitely don't have very impressive physiques at all and baseball players even worse...not to say they aren't great at what they do but it's not like they are all looking like Alex Rodriguez out there...

I've seen you say that Nadal's physique is not that impressive but compare it to the world's best soccer player Lionel Messi and Nadal looks FAR more athletic.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Laughable, I played 13 years of baseball, hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult feats in all of sports, you claim it isn't because you only need .300 to be considered great, this is asinine reasoning.



More BS, 50 year old McEnroe can go out on the court and compete competitively for a set against current pros.

You think any 50 year old former baseball pros are going to go out and hit a 95mph fastball in baseball.

Plenty of great hitters in baseball just reaching their peak at Federer's age, and hitting a baseball requires better hand eye coordination than any fn' shot in tennis. You don't see players dropping batting avg. suddenly once they hit 25 + years old.



Hitting a baseball is difficult, but that's the only thing you really have to do; baseball being a team sport has "specialists" in that usually you have guys that excel in one area and concentrate on that one area. In tennis, there is no way you make the pro level without having supreme footwork, period. In baseball, you can get away with being a total fatass if you can hit over .300 or throw 95 mph fastballs consistently. Why else do you think that in the Majors you have guys playing almost close to their 40s or even older? Or what about weight clauses in contracts of superstar players? You kidding me?


But don't let basic logical reasoning for you. You honestly have no idea what you are talking about. There are maybe a handful of sports that are overall more difficult than tennis, and baseball/basketball/etc. are none of them. Basketball indeed requires some different physical elements than tennis, but do realize that it is a team game and you rely on other players to help you. Otherwise how do you think Shaq being as big and slow as he is, is still able to compete in the NBA and start at times?


Haven't seen many 50 year olds playing baseball/basketball, but I have seen 40+ year olds playing a far more physical game called football and succeed. I've also seen George Foreman at the age 45 become a heavy weight champion in easily the most physically challenging and difficult sport. At an old age, you can still compete in those sports, you are just at a disadvantage; however you're making it look like these sports are so physically demanding (which they really aren't) that guys hit 35 flop over and die.


Tennis is one of the few individual sports in the world that is played on a large scale; the only few other individual sports that are larger or are close in size are full contact sports like Boxing and MMA, both which are likely just as intense as tennis is physically if not more (Boxing definitely is, possibly MMA light weight divisions).



Physical decline in speed and eye hand coordination is extremely evident in individual sports. Fedor is no longer the monster he once was because he's lost a step, he's only JUST slightly weaker, and his eye hand coordination isn't what he used to be, therefore affecting his stand up striking abilities overall. Not to mention everyone else got better; they don't just stand there and twiddle their thumbs.


Hrm...... sounds pretty..... similar to Federer.... that plays that game called tennis....
 
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Lawn Tennis

Semi-Pro
what sports do you watch? 30 is old in every sport except golf, baseball, and nascar (all of which are arguably not sports, but activities).

Don't know much about soccer (that's European football right?), but you're a seasoned vet at 27 in American Football. If you're a running back who entered the league after 2 years of college, you could possibly be done by 25.

A running back is the most extreme case. I was talking about the average age of retirement if the NFL (and/or soccer/football). On the other end of the spectrum, you have kickers well into their 40s. The average QB isn't a starter till the age 28 or 29. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/sports/football/09score.html

The average man is at his greatest strength potential at the age 34. I know tennis isn't about strength, but more about flexibility and agility, but still strength has to play some large role.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
A running back is the most extreme case. I was talking about the average age of retirement if the NFL (and/or soccer/football). On the other end of the spectrum, you have kickers well into their 40s. The average QB isn't a starter till the age 28 or 29. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/sports/football/09score.html

The average man is at his greatest strength potential at the age 34. I know tennis isn't about strength, but more about flexibility and agility, but still strength has to play some large role.


It does, but the difference is that football is a team sport, whereas tennis is an individual sport that is totally based on movement and eye hand coordination. That is why the retirement age is much younger in tennis; it's because a physical decline plays a much bigger role in tennis than it does in football.

It isn't TOO evident in boxing, but you can clearly tell once a guy hits his mid 30s in boxing he changes his game to a more power base striking game rather than finesse/footwork. He has to; there's no choice. That's why guys like Foreman, Tyson, and other punchers age better than guys that rely on finesse, technique, and strategy to win.


Tennis is never about pure raw strength like other sports; it's about skill, finesse, speed, agility, and eye hand coordination. The fastest thing that degrades in most athletes is your eye hand coordination and explosive first step, both which are vitally important to being a good tennis player. Federer and Roddick are probably just as fast as they were in their younger 20s. The issue is that they aren't as fast off the first step anymore, and that's the key difference.
 
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I agree that (American) football and basketball have definitely been taken to a higher level than tennis physically, but baseball and soccer? I'd have to disagree, most soccer players definitely don't have very impressive physiques at all and baseball players even worse...not to say they aren't great at what they do but it's not like they are all looking like Alex Rodriguez out there...

I've seen you say that Nadal's physique is not that impressive but compare it to the world's best soccer player Lionel Messi and Nadal looks FAR more athletic.
Messi is a genetic freak though. His balance and low centre of gravity are unbelievable plus he has amazing strength aswell.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HqjbTTFr3Y
 

TheOC

New User
In our professional sport, 30 is considered old, while in most all other sports, 30 is considered prime. For instance, football (both American and European) at the age 25 you are considered an up-and-comer and retirement happens around 37 - 40 years of age.
In the NFL the majority retire before the age of 30. The average career length is somewhere around 5-6 years last time I checked. The only ones who really continue to play longer into their 30s are the star players, or ones who are consistently in the starting line ups of their respective teams year in and year out.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Thought tennis players, like boxers, retired when they started losing and their rank fell. Even players ranked 100-150 would be starters in the NBA. Eat what you kill, no guarranteed contracts.
 
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